Butter Chicken

Servings : Serves 3-4

If there was a chicken dish that was fit for Royalty, I truly believe Butter Chicken would be it! Perfect grilled boneless chicken served in a creamy, buttery, silky smooth sauce….this dish is not for those that would shy away from extra calories!! It's the kind of dish that would have you literally licking your plate and scooping up second helpings!

The dish is famous the world over, and is probably one of the most loved of Indian meals. It goes oh-so-well with steamed rice and naans, and each bite of the tender and juicy chicken morsels covered in creamy sauce is a delightful experience.

Because of all the extra calories in this dish, it should be one of those meals that you save for super-special occasions, that way you can look forward to and enjoy the meal the way it is supposed to be enjoyed!

Ingredients for Chicken Marinade

  • 500gm boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes - marinate the chicken for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight in the ingredients below.
  • 1/4 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp. tandoori masala
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste/puree
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. oil

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek leaves/kasuri methi
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 4-5 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp. tomato paste/puree
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream (you can use up to 3/4 of a cup if you want it creamier)
  • 4 tbsp. butter + 4 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala
  • salt to taste


Put the chicken on skewers (discard the marinade) and either grill on a bbq grill or in the oven directly under the grill for about 8 minutes on each side (at 200 C) or until the chicken pieces are slightly charred. (Remember that the chicken will be cooked further in the sauce, so don't over-cook them at this stage). Remove the cubes from the skewers and put them in a bowl, cover to keep them moist and set aside.

Heat the butter and oil in a pot, add the cumin seeds, cardamom and cinnamon. When the cumin starts to splutter, add the fenugreek leaves followed by the onions and fry until they are translucent and starting to brown. Then add the ginger and garlic paste and the green chilies, fry them for a minute then add the cubed tomatoes and the tomato paste.

Cook on high heat for a few minutes, then lower to a simmer and cook until the tomatoes are mushy and well-cooked and some oil begins to get released from the sides. Turn off the heat, and remove the cinnamon stick and the cardamom pods from the mixture. Let it cool slightly, then put the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Return the mixture into your pot, season with a bit of salt and the sugar. Add the grilled chicken cubes. Simmer together for about 5 minutes until the gravy coats the chicken cubes well, you can add a bit of warm water at this stage if you want extra gravy. The gravy will thicken when you add cream. Sprinkle the garam masala.

Lastly add the cream, stir well and simmer on low heat for 3 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Switch off and serve over rice or with naan. You can add a blob of butter or drizzle some cream for a lovely appearance if you want when you serve the dish.

Enjoy! 🙂

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